Twin car bombs that exploded at a crowded bus terminal and market in the central city of Jos have killed at least 118 people, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Tuesday.
The Coordinator of NEMA, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said fires were raging in buildings after yesterday’s blasts and he expected more bodies to be found.
“We’ve now recovered 118 bodies from the rubble,” he said. “This could rise by morning, as there is still some rubble we haven’t yet shifted.”
The bombs were said to have been concealed in a truck and a minibus. The second blast killed some of the rescue workers who had rushed to the scene, which was obscured by billows of black smoke.
There’s been no immediate claim of responsibility. However, suspicion will most likely fall on the group Boko Haram.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the blasts, calling the perpetrators “cruel and evil”.
“The government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror, and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilisation,” he said in a statement issued by his office.
Last month, Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State.
Britain, the United States and France have pledged to help rescue them.
Jos has been relatively free of attacks by the group, but it claimed responsibility for a bomb in a church in the highland city, as well as two other places, on Christmas Day in 2011.
Tuesday’s blasts occurred 15 minutes apart in the afternoon, burning several shops to the ground, shattering windows and spreading rubble in the road.
Police sirens wailed as officers rushed to the scene.
Boko Haram has stepped up its use of explosives in attacks that are spreading far beyond its core area of operation, including two in Abuja last month.
A suicide car bomber killed five people on a street of bars and restaurants in the northern city of Kano on Sunday evening.